By Savitha Hira with inputs from Sonal Mamoowala
Photography: Courtesy the designers
Read Time: 2 mins
The Al Sultan Lebanese restaurant in Mayfair, London reflects seamless synergy of technology, craftsmanship and design, establishing the perfect tone for an immersive narrative…
The first Lebanese restaurant in London in 1986 has gone through a refurbishment at the hands of IDEA Interiors, a design agency known for creating bespoke mesmeric environments.
With an aim to amalgamate traditional Islamic patterns and décor with contemporary European aesthetics in sync with a modern mindset, conventional nuances are subtly modernized into predominant geometric patterns (typically round, square, interlaced…symbolic of unity and order) in form of a finely crafted, laser-cut aluminium brass-coloured latticed grill that fluidly envelopes the interiors, wrapping around walls, columns, even finding a perfect adjunct in bespoke ceiling lights, infusing the interiors with an aura of grandeur and glamour!
The compact restaurant with just 50 covers comes alive with ingenious lighting, where custom-designed circular chandeliers create reflecting rings on the Venetian stucco ceiling; spotlights have the same effect on the latticed walls; and the most intriguing – the lighting of the latticed grill on both sides gives the tight space much of its volume.
Working on creating an aesthetic high, the designers are careful to create perfect tableaus and keep furniture lines to a minimum – straight lines and subtle curves in an almost monochromatic schema, allowing the ornamentation to take precedence. The flooring in Wenge and walnut sunburst parquetry with its hexagonal pattern is once again reminiscent of traditional Islamic ornamentation as are the hand-woven Christian Fischbacher sheer drapes.
The elegantly chiselled interior transports the guest from the mundane into an ambience that is opulent and dream-like – a premise that stems from the very basics of the need for eating out. And the designers here take good care of retaining the distinct aura of traditional Islamic architecture, transposing it in a more receptive contemporary setting. All-in-all, vintage silhouettes are given a contemporary twist to translate antiquity with great panache for a signature look with understated elegance!